Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands communities benefit from economic recovery funding
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 7:42 AM
People living on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are benefiting from nearly $10 million in transportation investments made to support the region during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, 20 projects ranging from active transportation improvements and transportation upgrades in rural and remote communities, to climate adaptation projects have been completed. Throughout the province, more than 180 projects received economic recovery funding.
“Investment in our transportation infrastructure has never been more important as we focus on recovery from the pandemic,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “These infrastructure recovery projects are important for communities as they improve access to crucial services and provide good jobs that lay the foundation for strong economic growth.”
Through StrongerBC, the Province has provided:
- nearly $5 million for projects focused on active transportation safety and access improvements on provincial right-of-ways. Projects included multi-use pathways and rail trails, highway crossings, transit stop improvements, sidewalk installations, lighting enhancements and shoulder widening that make active modes of transportation safer and more accessible;
- more than $4 million to support projects focused on climate adaptation to improve the resiliency of the region’s highway network and decrease the negative effects of climate events, including flooding, wildfires and erosion. Projects included riverbank erosion protection, creek channel training, culvert upsizing, flood protection works, slope erosion protection and avalanche system maintenance; and
- more than $1 million to support projects focused on upgrading side and secondary roads in rural and remote communities. These projects were part of a $418-million investment to revitalize community infrastructure, enhance connections between communities and help get people back to work. Projects included paving, shoulder widening, lighting installation and crosswalk markings.
One major project to mitigate the effects of severe climate events is the remediation and replacement of 119 drainage culverts on Vancouver Island. The culverts along Highway 19A from Storey Creek to Union Bay were upgraded to ensure continued capacity and functionality of the highway during future climate events.
“As we have all felt in recent weeks, more extreme weather events are here,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “Our government is already taking action to mitigate the impact of these changes to the highways and infrastructure Islanders rely on. As the frequency of these events increases, British Columbians can have confidence in the reliability of their highway networks.”
StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan is one of the ways government is working to support businesses impacted by the pandemic, while building toward a more innovative, sustainable and inclusive economic future.
Learn more about B.C.’s strategy for more active transportation:
Learn more about B.C.’s strategy for climate adaptation:
Learn more about B.C.’s economic recovery plan, StrongerBC: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
A backgrounder follows.
Active transportation – nearly $5 million invested
- Central Saanich – safety improvements including shoulder widening to provide additional space for pedestrians and cyclists on West Saanich Road.
- Sooke – extension of sidewalk to Ed McGregor Park and connection to existing municipal trail network on north side of Highway 14/Westcoast Road.
- Nanaimo/Port Alberni – installation of lighting and illuminated signage for increased pedestrian safety along Stewart Avenue in Nanaimo and on Highway 4 at Ian Avenue in Port Alberni.
- Nanaimo – shoulder widening and crosswalks along 5.2 kilometres of Cedar Road to increase safety of pedestrians.
- Courtenay – shoulder paving for six kilometres along northbound Highway 19A from Buckley Bay to Union Bay to improve pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.
- Qualicum Bay – shoulder grading, widening and paving of shoulder along Highway 19A southbound from Sundry Road to Qualicum Bay to increase pedestrian and cycling safety.
- Courtenay – construction of Phase 2 of the Back Road Trail through the Komoks First Nation including excavation, installation of culverts and drainage improvements through the Komoks First Nation to increase pedestrian safety.
- Cowichan – repair of failed concrete culvert and trail restoration at Dry Bend Creek, and 4.7 kilometres of Cowichan Valley Trail resurfacing.
- Saratoga Beach – shoulder improvements, as well as parking and pedestrian access at Clarkson Avenue.
- Lake Cowichan – installation of pedestrian crossing and six lease lights on existing hydro poles to improve pedestrian safety along North Shore Road through the Ts’uubaa-asatx (Lake Cowichan) First Nation.
Climate adaptation – more than $4 million invested
- Coal Harbour – installation of a bypass road across Stephens Creek and design for new structure on Coal Harbour Road at Stephens Crescent near Quatsino First Nation.
- South Island – replacement of 13 culverts in the areas of Cobble Hill, Shawnigan Lake and Duncan.
- Central Island – replacement of 23 culverts in the areas of Nanaimo, Gabriola Island, Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Parksville and Qualicum areas
- North Island – replacement of 83 culverts in the areas of Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, Port McNeil and Port Hardy to ensure continued capacity and functionality of the highway and side roads during future climate related events.
Rural and remote communities – more than $1 million invested
- Mill Bay – replacement of culverts in Briarwood area to restore drainage and prevent failure of road base during flooding events on Shawnigan Lake-Mill Bay Road.
- Pender Island – rock scaling along Spalding Road.
- Port Renfrew – 120 kilometres of brushing on both sides of Pacific Marine Circle Route between Mesachie Lake and Port Renfrew with further spot brushing along Highway 14 to improve visibility for drivers.
- Duncan – culvert installation and erosion repair of a tidal ditch along Tzouhalem Road through Cowichan Tribes Reserve.
- Campbell River – construction of sound wall fence along Highway 19A at Wei Wai Kum First Nation.
- Duncan – installation of three culverts to facilitate the Western Toads migration across Barnjum Road and Riverbottom Road.
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